GF Topic: Spiritual Practice
Gangaji reflects, not for the first or the last time, on the extraordinary times we are living in. While celebrating the wealth of possibilities that our lives present, she offers the timeless teaching from Papaji, to just stop, wherever you are, and drop all that you think you have gained. In a moment of the most pristine, indescribable depth of silence, it is possible to discover the truth of who you are. Gangaji is inviting you, just as you are, into this space of stillness, where the mind clings to nothing.
January 13, 2002, Marin County, CA
In this video Gangaji lays out the egoic experiences of inflation and deflation in the search for truth. Often it can feel like you “get it” and then you “lose it,” all the while never questioning who? Who is it that gets it and loses it? Who are you? Here Gangaji illustrates how it is imminently possible not to think yourself but to simply be yourself. And in that being is the answer to who.
“All that the inflated ego can hold is a thought of the truth, a thought of peace, a thought of who one is. This is a huge thought, and it even points to reality, but it remains a thought. In our meeting I invite you to give up both deflation and inflation, and recognize yourself as the pure consciousness that holds it all.”
We cling to control as a survival strategy. The opportunity of a lifetime is to embrace totality. Then you’re embracing yourself. We are deeply, profoundly conditioned to only embrace what is pertinent to the survival of the body. Or if we are emotional creatures, what is pleasurable. Or if we’re social creatures, what gives us power. But to embrace the totality, whether that’s chaos or harmony is irrelevant at any one point because you’re embracing yourself.
June 5, 1994, Boulder, CO
This video from the archives includes many lively interactions, the heart of which is the topic of effort and effortlessness. If you feel that realizing the truth of your being requires effort, then eventually you will find yourself exhausted and disillusioned. Are you efforting to know who you are?
“Effort is what we are taught, it’s what we do, it’s what we believe is necessary. We are most afraid to stop effort because that would be the unknown. What I am speaking about cannot be ‘done’ and cannot be ‘known.’ You are never separate from it; it is already the truth of who you are—pure pristine awareness, effortlessly as it is, limitless and un-findable as a particular entity.
In this clip, Gangaji speaks to why she has appeared in your consciousness: not to fix you or teach you or convert you in any way. “My only function is to invite your individual consciousness to reflect back into the spaciousness that it arises from.” She goes on to examine the challenges to this that arise from the addiction of following thought as reality, and the remedy that her teacher Papaji gave her
I am inviting you to stop imagining what it is you need to get fixed, or what obstacle you need to get rid of, or how you need to get deeper, or how you need to be awake a hundred percent of the time. All of that is still within the realm of imagining a problem, imagining that there are certain benchmark measurements. Problems do appear in lives and there are measurements. But I am inviting you to engage in an experiment and investigation of really, really just immediately being at home.
Today that is heresy. It is called the “spiritual bypass,” and it is heresy. In our current secular/spiritual dogma, you are not allowed to take the bypass. You have to go into the garbage dump, and you have to dig through, to go through all the ancestry. But I am here to tell you that you are allowed to take the bypass. You are free to go digging wherever you would like to go, but you aren’t required to. You can go immediately home, because home is where you are. It is what is always here.
Santa Monica, California
Is there a secret to discovering true and lasting fulfillment, here and now and forevermore? Gangaji shares her experience of her teacher’s astonishingly simple instruction that revealed the truth of lasting fulfillment.
“It’s so simple! I was always considering: what can I get here, what can I keep here, or what can I keep away from here. When he said find out what is already and always here. It was shocking to me.”
Discover for yourself the fulfillment that is always here, no matter what comes and goes.
“If you think you have to fix yourself to come home to yourself, I’m telling you this is not true. It’s a dangerous lie that will cause you to suffer unnecessarily. When suffering becomes your business, your allegiance to it steals your lifeblood and whatever time you have left.”
Are you aware of the mental habits that cause you suffering? Especially the habit of trying to “fix” yourself? Gangaji asks us to stop trying to fix what will always be subject to change, to put down the burden of business as usual, and discover the capacity we have to meet it all. Whether you see yourself as the victim or the perpetrator in your own story of suffering, you can stop trying to fix it. You can say “Ha! I quit!”